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WICHITA, Kansas – Wednesday was a very important day for Mario Martinez.
It was his 10th birthday.
But unlike many of us, Mario wanted to do something a little different.
Instead of gifts, he had a better idea.
“I told them don’t bring any gifts, just bring money so I can donate it to the food bank.”
His reason for such a generous and selfless idea.
“There is some whose fridge is empty, hardly anything in their cabinet, one day I decided, eh why not? I already got all the stuff I need.”
Obviously, his request came as a shock to his parents.
“We were surprised, but very proud of him that he wanted to help other people,” said Susan Martinez, Mario’s mother.
And help he did. He raised $105 in cash.
“I was wondering how many people is this going to feed? Is it going to feed that many or is it just going to be five people?”
According to the Kansas Food Bank, there are more than 433,000 people who go without food.
In Sedgwick County, more than 78,000 people are food insecure, and because of Mario, 422 of those will finally have a meal.
“I was like this is serious.”
“It’s just heart warming. Of all the things this kid could have asked for, he didn’t want anything, he just wanted to help people,” said Kevin Enz, Kansas Food Bank.
Somewhere hidden in this story is a lesson for all of us. One his mother made clear.
“If a 10-year-old can do this, what else can the rest of us do?” Just can’t wait to see what he does next.
Mario didn’t go empty handed for his birthday. His family still surprised him with a few gifts.